Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still Undefeated

  1. the fundamental reason or reasons serving to account for something.
  2. a statement of reasons.
  3. a reasoned exposition of principles.
  1. logic, basis, grounds.
My brother once told me that I’m too logical, that I think with my head too much. Funny, because it’s true: that I think with my head too often and rarely ever with my heart. Funny too, because who would think that there’s such a thing as being too logical?

I always thought that people were too naïve, that they weren’t logical enough. I always thought that those who weren’t very logical were dumb in a way and the lines they fell for and the lies they fell for baffled me to no end. Yet in a way, I envied them. I envied the fact that they could let their heart take over and throw all logic aside: that they didn’t rationalize situations and weigh the pros and cons of every opportunity that presented itself; that even when they did, they often threw the logical choice out of the window and instead followed their heart. I envied them then and I envy them still.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately: about this and that and him and her and them –in a nutshell, about everything. I try to shut off my mind, but I just can’t seem to. Even in my sleep I find myself dreaming about this and that and him and her and them and each time, the rational outcome prevails. At first thought, the topic or subject is ruled by my heart, but it never fails –eventually, my more logical self takes over and the outcome is one built on a logical thought process. It never fails, but for once, I’d like that to not be the case.

Even when I try to let my heart overtake my mind and when I think that at last it has succeeded, in creeps my old friend, Rationale, to stomp on my heart so that no one else can. But hey, I guess I might as well do it to myself instead of letting someone else do it, right?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Think of You Still

I can’t get you off of my mind. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. But I can’t. You’re always there: when I’m going about my day; when I’m trying to study; when I’m talking to other people or merely people watching; when I’m trying to sleep; whenever. You’re always there. And no, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing that you are; I’m just stating a fact. And the fact is: it sucks. Big time.

I’m fully aware of the realty of “things:” of how things are playing out –seemingly unspoken; of the fact that time is very quickly winding down; of the fact that I’m completely unsure about what the future holds –and for the first time not in a “Carpe diem,” “Que Sera Sera” type of way. I’m unsure about the future and dare I say, it scares me? But if I’m being honest with myself, it does indeed scare me. And the fact is: it sucks.

I can’t get you off of my mind. Some days I wish that I could, but I know that I really don’t want to. I suppose that in time I will –if I have to. Hopefully, I won’t have to. This isn’t me. I don’t have these problems. At least I didn’t think I did. The fact is, apparently, I do. And the fact is: it sucks. Big time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Unknown

I miss you. Strange, because you’re still here. My mind is playing tricks on me, I know. Telling me what the heart is going to want in the not too distant future.

I’m ready to go. I need to go. To get away. To write the next part in my “book of life.” Yet I wonder if and how you fit into the pages. I know you’re there somehow, I’m just not sure as to which pages I’ll find you on: what roll you’ll play in the grand scheme of the story; whether you’ll make appearances often at first and then slowly fade away; whether the reverse will happen; whether you’ll be a recurring and significant character in the story.

I wonder these things as I do with all books I read. With each page turned, I find myself guessing as to how the book is going to end and I find myself guessing as to how this particular story is going to end. It’s like one of those great books that comes to an abrupt end and leaves you wondering about how the story in fact plays out: what may or may not have happened to or between the characters at the end of the book; did they make it or didn’t’ they? Did that someone you’ve suspected all along complete the crime or didn’t they? What happened? You don’t know and you never will; the outcome of the story is solely up to you to determine; up to your imagination and rationale to fill in the blanks –to piece the story together.

It seems as though the ending will be one that is inconclusive and you’re left imagining how rationale will weave its way into the story. But it never does. It never does. And it’s up to you to fill in the blanks.

It’s strange, this book I’m writing. I keep taking wild guesses as to how it all plays out and after seemingly running every possible scenario through my mind the only thing I know is that I miss you. My imagination runs wild and rationale never kicks in and I imagine every possible scenario and, I miss you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I’ve wanted to write a blog for a little while now, but haven’t had the time and now that I have a few minutes to spare, I can’t think of anything to write. A couple of ideas have crossed my mind when I’m drifting to sleep or when I’m unable to write them down, yet I now find my mind blank where this matter is concerned. I’ve started and stopped one idea after another and nothing seems to take. I mulled over writing random thoughts about dudes like:
  • Some dude fell asleep at the wheel and rolled back into my brother’s car last night while he was waiting at a stop light; it seemed that no amount of honking my brother did could wake the guy. Dude got out of the car and had the nerve to ask him “What happened?” *blank stare* While my brother was looking at the car, the dude hopped back in his old school O.J. Simpson Bronco and sped off before my brother could get his information (I think the randomness of it all impaired my brother’s judgment which is why he didn’t immediately write down dude’s plates). At any rate, I have no clue why dude thought he’d be able to successfully outrun a fairly new Infiniti in an old, beat up Bronco. I mean, come on, guy. That must’ve been some nap he had. So anyway, my brother chased him down and got his plates in case there was any damage to his car (he couldn’t really tell because it was too dark), which fortunately, there wasn’t. Folks are a mess.
  • Some dude jumped over the table and socked Leona Lewis at her book signing at some store in London for no apparent reason. What the heck has gotten into folks these days? Of all people to attack, Leona Lewis? Really?
  • Some dude of a particular persuasion was walking around in a T-Shirt, shorts, and sandals like it’s nothing. It was like 32 degrees and windy at the time! I tell ya.
  • Some dude … eh, I’m over it.
Then I started writing about this, that, and the other: I thought about just posting the lyrics to Jill Scott’s “Crown Royal” just because it’s a great two second song that I wish was longer. Come on now, you can’t say that you heard this song and didn’t instantly love it …

Your hands on my hips pull me right back to you
I catch that thrust, give it right back to you
You're in so deep, I'm breathing for you
You grab my braids arch my back high for you
Your diesel engine, I'm squirting mad oil
Down on the floor ‘til my speaker starts to boil
I flip s**t, quick slip, hip dip, and I'm twisted
In your hands and your lips and your tongue tricks
And you're so thick and you're so thick and you're so
Crown Royal on ice, Crown Royal on ice (On Ice)
Crown Royal on ice, Crown Royal on ice (On Ice)

Ah yeah, great song. If you haven’t actually heard her sing it –live or at least on the album-you’re trippin’. But anyway, I didn’t want to post a blog of song lyrics; maybe one of these days I will, but not today.

I thought that I’d write about that place where my mind always seems to rest as of late. The place it immediately drifts to when I’m not studying or at work or talking to someone (or even when I am) or doing something else. The place it’s been resting for a while now. I considered writing about that, but quickly realized that I didn’t want to go there today either. So I scrolled through a few of my older blogs and noticed that it’d been a while since I last wrote a “Things That Irk Me” and I thought about doing another one of those. That idea was nixed when I soon realized that there aren’t too many things that have irked me lately; I’ve eliminated most of the people and things from my life that inspired those blogs, and though there are things that bother me still, most of them would be redundant.

So I’m sitting here with an urge to write, but am at a loss as to what about …

Thursday, September 17, 2009


As of September 13th, I’ve officially been out of California for three years. Three years. Sometimes it seems like it’s been much longer than that and other times, it feels like I moved out here only yesterday. Though I’ve become greatly tired of this town and nearly all things that it does not have to offer, I know that I wouldn’t have grown and learned so much had I never moved out here.

Three years in this town has left me with a bittersweet taste for it –more bitter than sweet. Year one was scary and exciting and different from what I considered “normal.” Year two was one that enabled me to really learn more about the people in my life; the ones I could live without and the ones I couldn’t; the ones who disappointed me like I expected they would; the ones who turned out to be full of it and the ones who turned out to be liars; the ones who were too negative to talk to too often, if ever; the ones who were more uplifting than I could ever be. Simply put, year two was a challenging year for various reasons.

I was doing okay this past year, ready to go home, but okay –until my brother and cousin came out here and pointed out all of the things I’d mentally suppressed over the past couple of years: “Why does everyone drive the same speed?” “Why is no one ever in a hurry?” “Why does everyone smoke?” “The radio stations suck.” Etc., etc. Since they asked and said these things, my road rage (which I picked up out here) has been horrible and my tolerance for most things “Pittsburgh” has gone completely out the window.

With each passing day I’m over “it” more and more: I’m over the fact that most people I’ve come across consider bar-hopping every weekend to be rather enjoyable and have NO desire to do anything else. I’m over the fact that people don’t realize how little they actually do due to the bar-hopping issue. I’m over the way my lungs collapse almost every time I step out of my car because of the insane amount of smokers. I’m over the underwhelming desire of people to step outside of the city to see the rest of the world –not even for a vacation (no, West Virginia, DC, Ohio, and Maryland do not count). It wouldn’t be so bad if these were “older” people or people who have already experienced other parts of the world and what it has to offer; people who have done things outside of bars and have realized that they simply prefer the bar scene to everything else. No, these are people who have never done anything, never seen anything, and have no desire whatsoever to do so. I’m over it all.

I still find it mind boggling that once again, Pittsburgh is the number one city in the country to live in. Yes, there are many wonderful museums and a few lounges and galleries spread throughout town. Yes, there are countless bars. No, violence doesn’t seem as bad out here as it is in many other places. Yes, the Steelers and Penguins are here and both won their respective championships. Yes, the skyline is beautiful and the bridges boast their own mystique. But uhhh, what else? Dang near everyone smokes cigarettes and/or is grossly overweight. Once you’ve seen the museums a time or two, the novelty disappears. It seems like public schools are closing left and right each year and the city is tailored to two groups of people –one more so than the other. You can hike, camp, and fish nearby, but if you want to do something other than those three things, you’re in for a good little drive. But apparently, it’s the best city in the U.S. to live –go figure. I suppose if I were raised inhaling cigarette smoke and puffing a few myself, bar hopping, drinking beer while watching the Steelers and Pens games, and hiking or camping on occasion, I’d love this place. However, as someone who has not lived in a bubble her entire life, this town is for the birds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE Steelers fan and always have been and I didn’t start watching hockey until I got out here, and I was excited when they won the Cup. I still find the skyline and the drive into the city to be breathtaking. I often have my moments (frustrated as I might be) when I’m driving around town and am stunned by the beauty that the city (well, the trees) has to offer. I’m still taken aback by the bright green leaves of spring and the colors of the fall and the purity of a fresh winter snowfall. I still find it crazy wonderful when it starts storming like mad completely out of the blue for a quick few minutes. I love the crispness of early fall mornings that give way to pleasantly warm and sunny days that return to cool and crisp evenings upon nightfall. I’m still amused when I step outside on sunny winter days and am slapped in the face by the cold because I forgot for a quick moment, that though the sun is out, it’s still winter.

Though the entire year has been one of prayer, growth and realizations, I’d say the past few months have been the culmination of my evolution out here. The months have been ones of unexpected firsts, further realizing who I can live without speaking to or seeing regularly and those who I hope to never have to –well, anytime soon anyway. Since meeting and working with many wonderful people at fantastic jobs, I’ve finally begun to get a grasp on the direction of the next phase of my life and how I’m going to get there. I’ve got a short while left in this town and though I’m anxious to go, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned about myself and others to this point in my life. The next few sure to be stressful months are going to be long, but quick, and full of anticipation, frustration, and much thought and I welcome it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Refresher -Year Two

Eyes Wide Shut: Year Two, September 2008

September 13th marked the two year ‘anniversary’ away from what I thought I knew and would always miss and I must say, that my outlook on year two in Pittsburgh differs quite a bit from that first year here. Sites and seasons are no longer new and I no longer consider myself to be a stranger caught in the rapture of such naiveté. Instead, I can wholly say that this past year was one abounding with submission, frustration, anger, sorrow, confusion, and wishful acceptance and what I’ve realized, is that I have absolutely nothing to say about this past year.

Refresher -Year One

In a day or so or maybe later today, I’ll be posting my blog about my third year in Pittsburgh. So that you know what the past couple of years were like, I figured I’d refresh you on years one and two:

My Year in the Hole: Year One, September 2007

September 13th marked the one year "anniversary" of my leaving California for a world virtually unknown to me …

Fall 2006 –First Impressions:

I've learned the true definition of a Steelers fan: One who would literally die for the Pittsburgh Steelers and that 99.99% of all Pittsburgher's are Steelers fans who considers the mere mention of another team to be pure blasphemy –you'd dare not wear another teams insignia; that the same people that have yet to learn that the earth is in fact round, can tell you that Franco Harris, Lynn Swan, Terry Bradshaw (in two different Super Bowls), and Hines Ward were the MVP's in Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, XIV, and XL; that tailgating does not begin one, two, three or more hours before a particular game, but that it begins 20 minutes after the last game of the previous season; that even when the 2006 MLB All-Star Game was in Pittsburgh, the only sports memorabilia of any kind to be found anywhere, were Steelers items; that it is in fact possible to bleed black and gold -I've seen it ... on two separate occasions; that during football season, and every other day of the year for that matter, I often feel unworthy of declaring myself a "Steelers fan;" that if Jerome Bettis says anything –at all, it's as if his words were taken directly from the Bible; that …

For the fist time that I could remember, I actually had to wear some sort of jacket once October hit. I was so used to it still being a "warm" 80o at that time of the year. Ha. I guess that's why so many of my family and friends in Cali do not own any form of outerwear –it's simply not needed.

Fact –unable to be disputed: That in the fall, day or night, but especially at night, the Pittsburgh Skyline is, by far, one of the most breathtaking visions I have ever seen. Ever. Period.

Fall! Oh my gosh! A stunning rainbow of leaves on the trees … on the ground … on my car! I actually have to wear a jacket! And those Steelers games –sixth row! Pshhh, just plain tight!!! Oh my gosh, I'm glad that I moved out here! …

Winter 2006/ 2007 –What the Hell?:

Everyone in Pittsburgh smokes. EVERYONE. Okay, save 3% of the city's population. In restaurants, right outside of all buildings, walking around –I thought smoking was banned in and around most places! I guess that's a Cali thing. Beats me. I swear they'd sell the "world's best: cigs and coffee" as a special at diners if it were possible.

I am now willing to state under oath that fall, winter, spring, and summer are actually seasons and that there are really places in which temperatures do in fact fall below 60o on a winter night. I never thought the day would come when I could honestly say that for a good part of the year, I was looking forward to the temperature rising back up to 10o, but after a few occasions of 10 below with a wind chill of 15 below, I've learned that you never know until you know. What I'll never understand, is how in below zero weather, everyone STILL smokes! That, I just don't get. I mean, the cold makes it hard enough to breathe anyway, is the added smoke in the lungs really that necessary? Geeze, my asthmatic behind cain't hardly breathe on a nice sunny day as is. I don't know. I'll get a headache thinking about this anymore, so let me move on …

Fact –still unable to be disputed: That in the winter, day or night, but especially at night, the Pittsburgh Skyline is, by far, one of the most breathtaking visions I have ever seen. Ever.

Ugh, this darn snow! Bare trees. Bare … everything! Cold ass weather. Dang depressing is what it is. Why. the. hell did I move to frikkin Pittsburgh, Pensyl-damn-vania?! Geeze, I couldn't just visit, could I? Ol' non-thinkin', spontaneous ass …

Spring 2007 –Epiphany:

After months of studying, I finally learned that a parkway is not a freeway. It's a parkway.
A parkway is not a freeway.
A parkway is not a freeway.
A parkway is not a freeway.
A park…

Whoever said that phones could in any way suffice for having an actual sit-down conversation with someone is CRAZY!! No way in hell that my talking to my twin every day makes up for seeing him even once a month. NO WAY. There's no way that talking to my cousins once a day, week, or month makes up for our monthly bowling and Denny's sessions. No way. There's no way that chatting with my sister and friends, whenever we're able to "catch" one another, is the same as hanging out and talking or chillin' 'til all hours of the night. No.way.

From the time I first returned (after six plus years) to Pittsburgh in June of '06, before my actual move here, I found it wonderfully rare to instantly become "best friends" with someone I hadn't seen in thirteen years and never even really knew then. I find it a blessing still, to be able to be stuck in a beautiful but foreign land with them for ten consecutive days for the full 24 hours of each day and be able to emerge with my sanity intact; to be ready to do it all over again at a moments (and few months pays) notice; to come back closer than ever; to be able to have a cousin that's more like a sister.

Don't get me wrong, I miss my twin, my other siblings, parents, and numerous other west coast relatives and friends so much more than words can ever convey, but I'm beyond glad to have at least one person where I am now that is like all of them rolled into one. Well, except for the twin –he's in a category all his own.

Fact –even still unable to be disputed: That in the spring, day or night, but especially at night, the Pittsburgh Skyline is, by far, one of the most breathtaking visions I have ever seen. Period.

Ahhh, goodness, flowers! Still snowing for whatever reason, but it's nice to see nature coming back to life. My allergies are KICKING MY ASS! Eh, comes with the territory, I guess. The snow's gone! It's starting to warm up! It's a clear 70o today –dangit I want to go to the beach! I've never missed the beach so much in my life! I don't know what was wrong with me –only going a few times a year. Ha, the things you take for granted ...

Summer 2007 –Lessons Learned:

It's crazy to me how alike my Pittsburgh relatives and I are (well, some of them, anyway) and how similar my mom is to her sister, whom she didn't really grow up with and seldom sees now. Genetics are just crazy to me. Plain crazy.

Okay, Pittsburgh to New York City is NOT as close as I once thought. Well, okay, that's the wrong thing to say. Let me rephrase; the drive from Pittsburgh to New York City (and back) is in no way comparable to the drive from Los Angeles to oh say, Sacramento/San Francisco/whatever. I mean, good gracious, time-wise? Sure, they're about the same. But the scenic route or lack of any kind of decent scenery makes the drive to NYC seem so much longer than it actually is. Granted my NASCAR driver of a cousin does make for excellent company on any road-trip, but WOWSERS. I guess I won't be driving to Connecticut anytime soon. Geeze, I don't even want to imagine that drive. Sorry, Sleaze. Hmm, perhaps a fall drive would be better –I've got to think about that one.

All summer long, I was trying to figure out which of the four seasons was the worst one. Well actually, which of the three seasons: winter, spring, and summer were worse –fall is hands down the best. Now, one would think that winter, with all of it's snow and black ice and sub-zero days would be the worse, but uhhh, I'm not so sure. This spring, my allergies were at an all-time … horrible. And this summer, what with the 90o and 90% humidity with an instant thunderstorm thrown in the mix days, my asthma killed me. I tell ya, I've never used my inhaler so much in my life! I mean, common sense says to "wear a jacket if it's raining," especially since umbrellas don't always work with that "sideways" rain. But when it's that dang hot and humid, what do you do?! Wear a jacket and just be remarkably hot? Stay inside? I don't know. So yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what was worse: Icy roads, a depressing landscape, and stupid cold weather, but no allergy or breathing issues? Dry roads, blooming flowers and trees, and suitable temperatures, but ultra bad allergies? Or the ultra clear skies and warm weather, but hardly being able to breathe? I don't know. I just don't know. Screw it –I'll just call it a three-way tie.

My whirlwind week home for the annual family beach trip (and because it'd been forever since my last visit) was GREAT! Exhausting, but great. I can't tell you how refreshing it was to see people with natural tans. I'd almost forgotten what they looked like. I'm so used to seeing so many spray-on, salon going orange folks out here, that the permanently tanned Californians were, simply put, visually pleasant. Orange/Oompa-Loompa-ness? No, thank you. I'll just be pasty-pale until my return to the west coast…

Fact –bona fide: That in the summer, day or night, but especially at night, the Pittsburgh Skyline is, by far, one of the most breathtaking visions I have ever seen. Come out here and try to say otherwise. Humph, not possible.

Dangit! I'm missing everything back in Cali! Mom's graduation … niece's graduation … cousin's wedding … Awww, I'm depressed. I am NOT missing the beach trip though! Not a chance in hell I am missing that. Ugh, why am I out here?! Cain't dang breathe …

Fall 2007 –Full Circle:

As I stated earlier, I have officially been in Pittsburgh for a full year now. Some days I regret my decision to leave. Some days I'm glad I left while I had the freedom to do so. Some days I find myself yearning to see and talk to my twin in person. Some days the phone is just fine. Some days I miss summer year-round. Some days I enjoy falling leaves, a fresh snowfall, new growth, and even humidity.

I've gotten to know so many details about my mother's side of the family and where she came from and I feel that as a result, in a sense, I've gotten to know my mother. I've met a multitude of cousins that I never even knew existed and as one of my brother's puts it: "It's like [I] have twice as many relatives now" and though I rarely talk to most of them for various reasons, it's still nice to know that they're out there and that I now know what they look and sound like –even if I never see them again …

If nothing else, I can say that my time here is "an experience:" All four seasons –that alone was worth the move; a new "best friend;" finally, truly appreciating where I came from –my family that I didn't fully cherish and their eternal support, my smoggy and grossly congested, yet magnificent, natural surroundings, and my life in general …

Fact –a year later: That in the fall, day or night …

The next time I decide to up and do anything even remotely this darn random again, Bisha better do her job …